There’s no denying that the nationally imposed lockdowns to protect the country from coronavirus have had a huge impact on the daily lives of all of us. Many are working from home, changing their habits and their lifestyle to suit the new situation they find themselves in.
One area of the home people are spending more time in, and indeed changing the way they spend their time in, is the kitchen. As restaurants close, the joy of eating out in a restaurant is no longer an option. Rather than turning to takeaways and fast-food, the British public are experimenting in their kitchens. According to The Independent, a study of 2000 people found that more than a fifth are cooking every meal from scratch.
In fact, the average UK household is very much rediscovering the joys of cooking, spending almost seven hours a week creating their meals, compared to just six hours previously.
We’ve explored the ways that our culinary habits have changed over the last few months as we adapt to living in a COVID-19 world…
discovery, through technology
More of us are embracing technology in order to discover new recipes and cooking tips for preparing our meals. Consumers are using it in a number of ways:
Recipe apps allow you to discover new recipes and provide some inspiration for future meals. We recommend you check out Tasty, which has a wide variety of recipes and difficulty levels. We particularly enjoy their Easy Weeknight Dinners section.
YouTube offers a whole world of culinary options as 12% of those surveyed said they watched celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsey who offers guided recipes or even just simple tips for improving your cooking.
enjoying our cooking
People generally lead busy lives, and it can be very difficult to find the time to cook quality meals using good ingredients, from scratch. However, as people are discovering that they have more free time, they’re able to spend more of that time cooking and preparing meals.
Serving as extra motivation for putting the work in, we get to enjoy delicious, wholesome and home-cooked meals at the end. As previously mentioned, more than 20% of people are now cooking every meal from scratch and spending more time doing it.
Of those surveyed, 40% said they are enjoying cooking more than they did prior to lockdown and COVID-19 being a part of our lives. Of those, 89% said that they plan to continue preparing meals from scratch once the restrictions eventually are lifted.
less waste, more leftovers
Somewhat unsurprisingly, because of the various curfews and limits that have been imposed by the pandemic, we’re more thankful on the whole for what we have. People are less inclined to head out to the local shop or supermarket on a more frequent basis, and as a result 35% of us claim that we’re better at using leftovers in order to avoid waste.
Social media sites such as YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest are awash with content creators showing the different ways you can use leftovers to make a meal stretch to two or three meals, or even create a different dish entirely.
In addition, the extra time that we’re spending in the kitchen means we’re learning how to cook whilst using fewer ingredients, plus getting familiar with substituting different ingredients when preparing a particular meal.
All of this is better for our wallets and for the environment.
One thing we at Kesseler always hear from our clients is how much their new luxury kitchen has brought them together… either as couples or entire families, with people spending more time in their kitchens creating things and having fun, too.
One of the most positive things to come out of the pandemic is that people living together are spending more time together, bonding, building relationships and enjoying each others’ company instead of staring at screens.
Enjoying cooking has been shown to have positive effects on your mental health, and cooking with your partner can amplify this even further.
Mealtimes are, according to the Independent’s study, becoming more of an occasion at home, with families coming together to eat around a table more than they did prior to the pandemic. Almost half of the respondents said that their children have become more involved with the cooking now… so it really is a family affair!
One fantastic story we read was about how people are having “virtual dinner dates” together… ie, they’re cooking meals from their own homes, using video calling apps like FaceTime or Zoom to share the experience. They then eat together, remotely. We love it.
All of this means that the kitchen is becoming a more popular place for creativity, bonding and health… proving that as ever, the clichéd phrase that “the kitchen is the heart of the home” has never rung more true.